Thursday, September 20, 2007

BBC: The "Perfect" Children

Here's part 2 of the BBC series on China's one-child policy:

China's 'perfect child' generation

Anthropologist Susan Greenhalgh, a leading expert on China's family planning policy, says parents' rising expectations are not solely to blame for increased pressure on children - government policy also plays a part.

The family planning policy was never just about reducing the number of Chinese people, it was also about increasing the quality of those remaining, she says.

"What the government tried to do is ensure that this next generation of children is superior in education and health care," says Ms Greenhalgh, of the University of California, Irvine.

China's family planning policy, launched in 1979, was supposed to create a generation of fewer children with better prospects than the last.

"This was the generation that was supposed to be the perfect children," writes anthropologist Vanessa Fong, of Harvard Graduate School of Education.


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